After a lot of in depth analysis, soul searching and reading tea leaves, we have decided to move our Joomla template releases to the T3v3 framework.
This has not been an easy decision to make but we are confident that it is the right decision. A lot of people have been surprised about the change, so let me take you through the reasoning behind the decision.
The T3 framework is a Joomla template toolkit that provides a set of useful tools for creating Joomla templates. It is developed by Joomlart and released as an open source platform that anyone can use.
It is an installable plugin that is installed in addition to your Joomla template but essentially sits in the background providing some of the core functionality and features that ship as a part of the template's feature set.
1. T3 is where I wanted the Zen Grid Framework (ZGF) to be.
When I first looked at T3v3 (around 6 weeks ago) I was blown away by the maturity and functionality of the framework. After speaking to Hung from Joomlart I was further reassured that what I could see in the code and on the page matched the design philosophy that we were also pursuing with ZGF.
T3v3 is a complete rebuild of their framework with an emphasis on performance and responsive / mobile functionality. The templating system and core functionality has been completely stripped back, reworked and revisioned - almost making it a completely new template framework.
2. The same zen philosophy on a new and improved codebase.
One of the big factors for me was the fact that the T3 templating system is very similar to the ZGF layout override functionality. It's actually a lot simpler to use and makes customisation a lot more obvious to the developer minded - I'll be writing a tutorial on how to customise your Joomlabamboo T3 template in the next few days.
The template system is so flexible that we can more or less keep the existing markup from our current framework with the same module positions and naming convention which - with a little luck - will mean that upgrading your ZGF Joomla 1.5 / Joomla 2.5 template will be a relatively easy task.
For all intents and purposes, shifting to the T3 framework for the developers will not be a giant leap and I think the improved flexibility and accessibility will make up for any short fall in understanding the new workflow.
This session is in addition to the talk I'll be giving about more general templating strategies during the conference program and will focus on getting into the nitty gritty of developing Joomla templates using our framework and other zen products.
This theme is classic bamboo. It features a delicate mix of clean lines, white space and subtle grungy textures. It's a responsive Joomla template built for a variety of uses.
The template is built on v2.4.0 of the Zen Grid Framework which contains a stack of new features and optimisations. At the moment the other templates have not been updated to use this version of the framework so please only install 2.4 on sites using the Ecospirit template. All v2 themes (Except for Shop Ignition will be updated later today and tomorrow.)
The focus for this version has been around improved performance and so there have been a number of code optimisations that affect the front and the back end.
I've written a detailed list of what's in v2.4 and will flesh that out some more when I release the changelog after all of the other themes have been updated.
It is a business oriented Joomla template that features a clean design which combines subtle background textures, elegant drop shadows and gradients with some eye popping colour combinations.
Ascent is our sixteenth responsive Joomla template and in all honesty probably one of the most enjoyable designs that I've coded in recent history. I think one of the reasons for this is that it's the first theme developed on one of the new Zen Building block starter templates.
If you missed the announcement last month about the building blocks they are basically a collection of Joomla template skeletons that are ideal precursors to commonly used patterns in web design and can really help to speed up the development time on Joomla projects.
A few weeks ago we released the Zen Building Block templates and to compliment that set of starter Joomla templates I am releasing the Responsive Jomsocial template.
This theme for Jomsocial is much like our original Responsive template we built back in October last year. It's a no frills vanilla starter skeleton designed for Jomsocial developers to dig in to and get their hands dirty. The theme has a limited amount of styling so it will fit perfectly in to any Joomla template and it will scale to fit the limitations of your design - responsive or not.
[I'm often surprised by how popular our simpler and more minimal Joomla templates are. Along with themes like corporate, lifestyle and the recent Highline I often see less complex themes like simpleshop, zen default and rasa featuring at the top of our download stats.
So this month rather than bringing you a single template release, we would like to introduce Zen Building Blocks. The Zen Building Blocks are a set of five responsive Joomla templates that are designed to be ideal starting points for your Joomla web projects.
I have wanted to create a Jomsocial template for such a long time that I feel like I have just ticked something off my bucket list. I'd be surprised if you didn't already know about Jomsocial but for those that don't - Jomsocial is the premier social networking extension for Joomla.
Building the demo site for the Highline Jomsocial Template was the first chance I've had to play with Jomsocial (at least for an extended amount of time) and I have to say that this is a really solid piece of software. While I recognise that not everyone needs a social app on their website, I can certainly see why this is the chosen extension among Joomla web site builders for creating social or community driven websites.
The key point for the Highline Jomsocial template is that in keeping with all of our Joomla template releases since September last year - it is responsive. This means that with the help of the Highline template, the Jomsocial component will morph and scale according to the width of your users browser. This essentially means that within this one joomla template you get an elegant, minimal Jomsocial template that will work across any browser - large or small.
Way back in April we released Zenkit - a collection of responsive K2 templates and I've just taken the covers off two new demo sites that showcase what you can do with Zenkit.
If you missed the announcement, Zenkit is a small set of stand alone K2 templates that can be dropped into any Joomla template.
The Intrepid Joomla template is our first template release in the last two months.
I explained in this blog some of the reasons why we had fallen behind schedule and despite my best efforts, my estimate regarding Intrepid's release date proved to be a little optimistic.
So in an effort to draw the proverbial line in the sand that I spoke so valiantly about, Intrepid is now our July template release and all members have been given an extra two months to compensate for skipping the previous two months.
With this revised schedule we will have the August template release available in the first week of August and thus we will be back on track to release all future templates within the first week of the month.
Well I'm glad you asked ... Intrepid is the latest of our responsive Joomla templates that has a tonne of intelligent browser scaling and switching that will make your clients love you and keep you fixated on resizing your browser when developing your site.
The Intrepid Joomla template is a stylish mix of business, blog, news portal and gallery rolled into one with all of the power and flexibility of our Zen Grid Framework, Zentools and Zenkit power tools.
A few days a go I dribbbled some screenshots of our next Joomla template which is due for release in the next few weeks. I really wanted to push a rich, corporate colour pallette on this one as well as play around with some noticeably different responsive layouts.
I've seen some comment that responsive design isn't applicable for complex or intricate layouts. The more I work with responsive design I think that pretty much anything is possible. Of course it helps to have a nice responsive framework to sit underneath the design, but at this point, (and I might be proved wrong at some point) I think that most perceived limitations are self-imposed.
Checkout the screenshots of the design below and let us know what you think. Not all of the details have been filled in (or finalised) but you can get the picture. Also the logo is just a little placeholder for the time being.